The following Advent wreath prayers for the third week of Advent are intended to help busy households make Advent a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is fairly simple, to be used by groups of adults or adults with children, and options are noted to allow for participation by other members of the household.
Advent: Week 3 — Dec. 12
Leader: With the beginning of this third week of Advent, we’re more than half way home to Christmas. We gather again to pray so that our hearts are truly prepared for the birth of the Child Jesus.
» Light three candles on the Advent wreath.
» Read aloud: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11.
(Leader may read all, or others in the household may each proclaim a reading.)
Leader: In our readings this third week of Advent, Isaiah again foretells the coming of the savior. He leaves us with a vision of how marvelous heaven will be for those who live a holy life. The letter from James is like something out of a locker room speech in which a coach urges a team to be patient, to put up with the hardships that will come their way and not to complain. Matthew retells the story of Jesus explaining the role of John the Baptist to the curious crowds. He tells the throng — and us, too — that even as great as John the Baptist is, if we live so as to have a place in the kingdom of heaven, we will be even greater.
(Leader may read all, or others in the household may each read a segment.)
» Dear God, you know that our hearts long for the joy and gladness promised by life with you. Help us to remember that you are with us always, and that our hearts will rest only when they rest with you.
» Holy Spirit, guide the choices we make throughout this week. Help us endure hardship. Remind us to be patient. Stifle our tendency to complain. Help us realize how much we owe the creator for all we have and all we are.
» Father in heaven, we offer thanks to you for sending John the Baptist to prepare the way for the coming of the savior. Help us to heed the Baptist’s message to repent and to renew our commitment to live in holiness.
» Come Lord Jesus. So often we are impatient for your coming, yet we are fearful of living our lives as one with you. Come and ease our anxiety. Come and reward our patience. Come and remove our sorrow. Our communities and our world eagerly await the day of your birth.